He closed his eyes and remained very still. Jean found it hard to control her emotion, so she crossed over to where Sam and Kitty were sitting upon the floor.
“Poor babby, poor babby,” the Indian woman said, seizing the girl’s hand. “Chief much seek, eh?”
“Yes, very sick,” Jean replied, as she, too, seated herself upon the floor. “You were good to him, and I am so glad.”
“Kitty no do much. Kitty all sam’ babby.”
“But you did what you could, Kitty. No one can do anything for him now.”
Scarcely had she ceased when the Indian woman lifted her hand, and pointed to the couch. Jean at once arose and went to Dane’s side.
“What is it?” she asked.
“He wants you to sing ‘Jesus, Lover of my Soul.’ I could just catch the words. It used to be a favourite hymn of his.”
Jean was in no mood for singing, but she did the best she could. As her sweet voice filled the room, Norman opened his eyes, and a smile overspread his face.
“It’s your mother, Dane; don’t you hear her singing? And look, can’t you see her? She’s standing right there, just as she looked on her wedding-day.”
He reached out, and his arms closed in a fond embrace, and for him his loved one was really there.
“Priscilla! Priscilla!” he whispered, and with that vision before him, his spirit left the weary body.
The next day the rangers arrived, with William Davidson in charge. Pete was with them, and his delight was unbounded at seeing Jean. That afternoon Thomas Norman’s body was laid by the side of his wife at the foot of the big pine. The ranger leader read the beautiful words of the Burial Service, after which his men filled in the grave. A rough wooden cross was erected over the spot, and there Jean and Dane stood after the others had gone back to the house. Their eyes were misty, and for a few minutes neither spoke.
“That is all we can do,” Dane at length remarked with a sigh. “Oh, if he had only seen his mistake years ago, what a difference it would have made. It is wonderful how death has wiped out all bitterness toward him from my heart. I only think of him now as the loving father I once knew.”
“This will always be a sacred spot to us,” Jean replied. “I should like to come here in the summer when the birds are singing, and lay sweet flowers upon these graves.”
“We shall indeed come, darling,” and Dane’s arm stole tenderly about the girl as he spoke. “We shall come next summer to this place which means so much to us.”
The sun of the short winter day was dipping below the tops of the great trees, and the distant hills were aglow as Jean and Dane left the grove and walked slowly back to the house. Although sorrowing for the one they had just laid to rest, yet they knew that it was well. This common grief drew them nearer than ever to each other, making their love all the more beautiful and wonderful.